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Report numberRA-2006-105
TitleTraffic safety indicators
Subtitle
AuthorsPascal Lammar
Published byPolicy Research Centre for Traffic Safety 2002-2006
Number of pages132
Date18/12/2006
ISBN
Document languageDutch
Partner(s)VUB
Work packageOther: Knowledge traffic unsafety
Summary

This report is an answer to the need of reliable indicators to monitor the causal chain of road accident health effects, which allow to follow up the evolution of traffic safety. Literature study was performed to identify the currently most used indicators. This set of indicators was completed with indicators, which are being used less frequently or which are still in development, or which are currently not used as an indicator, but are promising in this respect.

 

Due to the close relationship between traffic safety and health, the DPSEEA (Driving forces, Pressure, State, Exposure, Effect, Action) model was chosen as framework for the indicators. As the DPSEEA model is not specifically built to deal with traffic safety, the model was adapted to the main topics related to road accidents, plus two additional steps specific for road accidents: risk factors and event (crash).    

 

The most frequently used international absolute and relative indicators to measure the magnitude of the traffic safety problems, are: number of deaths, number of injured, number of vehicles, number of deaths/10,000 or 100,000 vehicles, number of deaths/100,000 inhabitants, number of deaths/billion or 100 million vehicle-kilometres, number of injured/number of inhabitants,  number of vehicles/number of inhabitants.
In yearbooks discussing the national traffic safety statistics (EU 15) the following indicators are used most frequently:  deaths/inhabitants, injured (seriously+slightly injured)/inhabitants, road casualties (injured+deaths) /inhabitants, accidents/vehicles, deaths/vehicles, injured/vehicles, deaths/vehicle-kilometres, traffic deaths/total number of deaths. The most important indicators in international databases (e.g. IRTAD and CARE) are: accidents/vehicle-kilometres, deaths/inhabitants, deaths/inhabitants according to age group, deaths/inhabitants according to age group and sex, deaths/vehicle-kilometres, injured/inhabitants, injured/inhabitants according to age group, injured/vehicle-kilometres.

 

The different indicators, discussed in this report, are subdivided in 3 categories: ‘Ready and recommended for immediate implementation’ (indicators that are conceptually as well as methodologically ready), ‘Desirable, though requiring further developmental work’ (indicators that are needed or with problems of definition, data availability or data quality; these indicators have to be further developed) and ‘Complementary’ (indicators that may provide complementary information, but where the link with traffic safety is rather weak or which have less priority due to the existence of better indicators).  

 

Indicators that are ready and recommended for immediate implementation: Share of vehicle fleet above 10 years old, Share of vehicles with 4 or 5 stars for occupant protection and with 3 or 4 stars for pedestrian protection in EuroNCAP (State indicators); Number of vehicle-kilometres and number of passenger-kilometres according to mode of transport (Exposure indicators); Number of young drivers (18-24 years old), Number of charges for violation of driving and rest time (in lorries), for speeding violations, for driving under the influence of alcohol and illicit drugs, for overloading of the lorry, for not using the seat belt or child restraint systems, number of checked vehicles (speed, alcohol, illicit drugs, seat belt use, use of child restraint systems), Number of charges/number of checked vehicles, Number of inspection hours/man-hours by the police (speed, alcohol, drugs, seat belt use, use of child restraint systems), Subjective risk of being caught (speeding violation, driving under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs), Number of alcohol-related deaths and seriously injured, Number of alcohol-related accidents with deaths or seriously injured, Number of positive and refused alcohol and illicit drug tests (Risk factor indicators); Number of injury accidents, Number of injury accidents with children, Number of injury accidents/100,000 inhabitants, Number of injury accidents/billion vehicle-kilometres, Number of injury accidents/billion passenger-kilometres, Number of injury accidents with at least 1 heavy lorry, Percentage of injury accidents with at least 1 heavy lorry, Number of injury accidents with vulnerable road users (Event indicators); Number of deaths, Number of deaths/100,000 inhabitants, Number of deaths/billion vehicle-kilometres, Number of deaths/billion passenger-kilometres, Number of deaths/number of accidents, Number of deaths according to mode of transport, Number of dead children (on foot or by bicycle)/100,000 children, Number of deaths and seriously injured, Number of deaths and seriously injured/100,000 inhabitants, Number of deaths and seriously injured/billion vehicle-kilometres, Number of deaths and seriously injured/billion passenger-kilometres, Standardized mortality rate for traffic accidents, Number of injured, Number of injured/100,000 inhabitants, Number of injured among vulnerable road users, Number of injured children (on foot or by bicycle)/100,000 children, Number of road casualties, Number of road casualties/100,000 inhabitants, Number of road casualties/billion vehicle-kilometres, Number of road casualties/billion passenger-kilometres, Number of road casualties among vulnerable road users, Number of road casualties according to mode of transport and age group/number of inhabitants, Number of road casualties among children/number of child inhabitants, Number of road casualties among elderly people/number of elderly inhabitants, Number of years of potential life lost due to traffic accidents, Subjective  traffic  unsafety among the general population (Effect indicators); Number of charges for traffic violations (Action indicators). 

 

Following indicators are desirable, though requiring further developmental work on methodological or conceptual level: Person time spent on the road (Exposure indicators); Percentage of pedestrians and bicyclists using reflective materials, Percentage of bicyclists riding without bicycle light at night or in the dark, Number of speeding violations divided into speed categories, Number of speeding violations in the different speed limit zones, Behaviour indicator for speeding, Number of alcohol- or drug-related accidents, Extent of driving under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs or a combination of alcohol and illicit drugs, Number of drug-related deaths, Number of drug-related seriously injured,  Number of drug-related accidents with deaths or seriously injured, Use of seat belt by drivers and passengers, Use of child restraint systems, Number or percentage of moped riders and motorcyclists using the helmet correctly, Number or percentage of moped riders and motorcyclists that is yearly checked on helmet use, Number or percentage of bicyclists using a bicycle helmet, Number or percentage of children being transported on a bicycle in a correct way (Risk factor indicators); Number of injury accidents/hours spent on the road, Number of injury accidents with pedestrians/pedestrian-kilometres, Number of injury accidents with bicyclists/bicyclist-kilometres, Number of injury accidents/crossings (Event indicators); Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS), Injury Severity Score (ISS), Trauma Score, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), Probability of Survival (PS), Prevalence of officially recognized disability or handicap due to traffic accidents, Length of hospital stay, Length of work time lost and school absenteeism, Number of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) due to traffic accidents, Prevalence of psychological consequences after a traffic accident among the general population, Quality of Life of road casualties, Cost of traffic accidents, Cost of injuries due to traffic accidents (Effect indicators).

 

It is important to link these indicators with policy objectives to be able to monitor the effect of policy measures.

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The Policy Research Centre for Traffic Safety carries out policy relevant scientific research under the authority of the Flemish Government. The Centre is the result of a

cooperation between Hasselt University, KU Leuven and VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research.

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